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NaNoWriMo Creates 300,000+ New Novelists

National Novel Writing Month has drawn to a close, and you can practically hear the sighs of relief resound across America as students, teachers, and everyone in between save drafts of, oh, I don’t know, about 50,000 words, for the final time. The determined few who make it through this affectionately named “NaNoWriMo” have now been reborn as a pristine flock of novelists. Undaunted by any future assignment, they’ve got quite a few words under their belts.

This month-long marathon of writing began in 1999 and has since grown to include upwards of 300,000 participants. Of all of the work created by this tenacious bunch, NaNoWriMo reports that over 250 books written in the classic “NaNo” way have been published. Have you heard of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants or Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl? Both of these bestsellers were the brainchildren of authors who began to collect their thoughts during NaNoWriMo.

So what is NaNoWriMo, specifically? It’s an event hosted and encouraged by an organization of the same name in which each participant’s goal is to write 50,000 words in one month. NaNo’s website provides resources for authors to keep track of their word count and find inspiration when they’re in a slump. They host “write-ins” (in reality and online) in which NaNo compatriots can look to one another for advice and encouragement in getting their novel cranked out.

Just looking at NaNo’s website, this all seems like it creates a little community. The organization sells merchandise, has forums, and encourages participants to reach out to friends and family and get them to get involved. Writing may seem like solitary work, but it turns out it doesn’t have to be. It’s always a good idea to have someone to bounce ideas off of, or even just to discuss one’s writer’s block frustration. NaNoWriMo has created its own tiny world of people who truly are passionate about their work, passionate enough to write an entire book in a month.

Although it may seem that the fun ends on November 30, many NaNo authors opt to build on their novels well after . At this point, you may be thinking, “Who does this?” Columbus alone is home to 6,173 NaNo writers. It’s kind of a big deal. In fact, quite a few Academy students, especially those involved in CWAC (Creative Writing is Awesome Club) got started on their own novels this year. If you see any of these people, you should probably congratulate them. This past month has been a juggling act of balancing school and their novels, and they really deserve some kudos.

If you’re interested in ever authoring a book, NaNoWriMo may be just the place for you to get started. This event isn’t about transforming into a best-selling novelist over the course of just one month. It’s about creating something that you’re proud of. It’s about setting goals, and it’s about that feeling that you get when you achieve them. National Novel Writing Month is a fantastic opportunity for writers of all ages to come together and create.


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